The rebuilding process in Charlotte is now kicking off its sophomore season, and Paul Silas will not be returning to the Bobcats next season as their head coach according to sources including the Charlotte Observer. The Bobcats went a pathetic 7-59 this season, highlighted by a 23-game losing streak to end the season. And while things can only get better, is there really much of a ceiling on this team?
It’s no secret that Charlotte bottomed out this season in hopes of getting the chance to draft Anthony Davis with the first pick. The Bobcats finished 30th in points scored per game, 27th in points allowed, 29th in rebounding, and dead last in eFG% differential. In short, the Bobcats were not just bad, they may have redefined bad. Charlotte finished the season with an OFF EFF of 92.3, the lowest mark set in the NBA the in the last five seasons. Their roster has some semblance of a congruent basketball team with younger assets like Gerald Henderson, Kemba Walker, Bismack Biyombo, B.J. Mullins, and Tyrus Thomas. However, what value could any of those pieces individually bring on the open market this summer? Probably not very much seeing how most teams are gearing up for inflationary free agent prices in the first full offseason under the CBA.
Currently Charlotte’s payroll heading into this summer will sit roughly around $43 million (including all player/team options), about $15 million under the salary cap. It’s unlikely that any big name free agents will envision Charlotte a free agent destination, so if the Bobcats are going to look to free agency to make any substantial upgrades, they will be paying retail prices. Rich Cho is widely regarded as one of the savvier general managers in the league, yet the question Bobcats fans should be asking (all 500 of them), is who will Jordan, Cho and Rod Higgins dub to be the next head coach?
The most qualified candidate on the market (by a long shot) is Nate McMillan. Nevertheless, as Marc Stein points out, is Michael Jordan willing to pay top dollar for a coach like McMillan, who just left the mother of all dysfunctional teams this season in Portland? Like players on the open market, it’s likely that Jordan and crew will have to blow him a way with an offer before he heads to Charlotte. Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer suggests that while McMillan is the obvious choice, “Mike D'Antoni and Orlando Magic assistant coach Patrick Ewing could also be in the running.”
Larry Brown made a poignant remark last week that Michael Jordan has failed because he surrounded himself with “yes men,” causing some to suggest that perhaps the team needs to have an overhaul at the top, starting with Jordan’s longtime friend and current President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins.
The Bobcats are at a tipping point. Their attendance has consistently ranked in the bottom tier of the league, and with talks underway of new arena in Seattle, perhaps the league and Jordan might consider relocating the Bobcats to more NBA-friendly market.
Two years ago, Charlotte placed as the seventh seed in the playoffs. They were quickly disposed of by the Orlando Magic, and since then they have lost Gerald Wallace, Raymond Felton, Tyson Chandler, Stephen Jackson, and Jared Dudley,1 all of whom who have gone on to not just contribute as quality role players, but rather productive starters (in Tyson Chandler’s case, as a center on NBA Championship team).
The situation in Charlotte isn’t just bad, it’s atrocious. It’s hard to consider any team associated with the greatest player in the history of NBA stuck in such a state of disarray, yet that is precisely where the Bobcats sit. They seem rudderless and the reality of the situation is that this season might not have the silver lining some in Charlotte think.
If the Bobcats lose out on the ability to draft Anthony Davis to
New Jersey Brooklyn (which NBA conspiracy theorist believe is likely, including me) then Charlotte might be in the dubious circumstance of taking a player whose talent is far less than that of Anthony Davis. A few years ago coaches and players alike reveled in the idea of playing for legend like Jordan. Now the question seems to be, “Who wants to?”
1 Traded December 10, 2008: Traded by the Charlotte Bobcats with Jason Richardson and a 2010 2nd round draft pick (Gani Lawal) to the Phoenix Suns for Raja Bell, Boris Diaw and Sean Singletary.
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Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
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